It looked like spring training in August.
The Angels gathered on the Angel Stadium infield for a short team meeting around 2:45 p.m. Wednesday. When that was done, players broke off to their separate positions and proceeded to perform a Cactus League staple: Pitchers’ fielding practice (PFP) drills. For the next half-hour, each pitcher peeled off from the pack standing along the third-base line, jogged to the mound, and practiced pickoff throws to each base, fielded bunts, and covered first base on ground balls to the right side.
Kevin Jepsen said it was the first time he’d done PFP drills in August in five full seasons with the Angels.
Angels left-hander Sean Burnett is scheduled to pitch an inning tomorrow for Single-A Inland Empire, his first rehabilitation assignment since going on the disabled list with tightness in his left forearm.
Burnett hasn’t pitched since April 26.
Kevin Jepsen hasn’t been scheduled to pitch a rehab game yet, but “he’s going to be close to a rehab game this weekend too, if not this weekend then early next week,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Jepsen has been sidelined since April 12 with a strained right shoulder.
Ryan Madson is taking a pause in his rehabilitation schedule. The right-hander threw an inning four days ago for Single-A Inland Empire and was supposed to go to to Triple-A Salt Lake on his next assignment. That might not happen now, though his next outing will be a rehab assignment somewhere.
“He was going really hard for a week,” Scioscia said. Madson is “just trying to catch his breath and recover.”
The Angels expect to get relievers Sean Burnett and Kevin Jepsen back next week after both completed bullpen sessions Thursday at Angel Stadium.
Burnett, who’s been out since April 26 with stiffness in his left (throwing) forearm, is expected to pitch on a rehabilitation assignment this weekend, then return to the Angels as early as Tuesday for a home game against the Seattle Mariners. The Angels do not play Monday.
Jepsen, out since April 12 with a strained right shoulder, is also expected to head out for a rehab assignment but could need more than one appearance.
“Kevin’s been out a little longer, so it depends on how he does and how he responds,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Sean Burnett’s been out three weeks (as of Friday). It’s not that excessive, so hopefully he’ll be able to get away with just a little tuneup.”
Kevin Jepsen played catch for the first time since going on the disabled list April 13 with a strained right shoulder. The right-hander said he threw from up to 75 feet for seven minutes and didn’t have to cut the session short.
However, there’s still no timetable for his return.
“I don’t think it’s going to be a very long time,” he said. “The strength is there, as far as shoulder and arm strength. I just have to build it back up.”
As long as he doesn’t experience a setback, Jepsen said he’ll travel with the team to Houston next week.